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Ingeniería e Investigación

Print version ISSN 0120-5609

Abstract

MARTINEZ A., Óscar Mauricio; SANCHEZ C., Francisco José  and  SUAREZ P., Oscar Yesid. Ethyl ester production from (RBD) palm oil. Ing. Investig. [online]. 2007, vol.27, n.2, pp.34-43. ISSN 0120-5609.

This work develops a methodology for obtaining ethyl esters from RBD (refined, bleached and deodorised) palm oil by evaluating the oil’s transesterification and separation. Two catalysts were first tested (KOH and NaOH) by studying the effect of water presence on the reaction. The separation process was then evaluated by using water and water-salt and water-acid mixtures, establishing the agent offering the best results and carrying out the purification stage. Raw materials and products were characterised for comparing the latter with those obtained by traditional means and verifying the quality of the esters so produced; minimum differences were found between both. The proposed methodology thus allows esters to be used as raw material in petrochemical industry applications. A more profitable process can be obtained compared to those used today, given the amounts of separation agent so established (1% H3PO4 solution, in water). The overall process achieved 74.4% yield, based on the oil being used.

Keywords : palm oil (RBD); ethyl ester; petrochemicals; transesterification.

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